Groom’s cakes can be fun, funky

Groom’s cake were an old tradition for many years, and they have recently been making a comeback.

Lindsey Schwarck

After vows are exchanged and emotional toasts are made, guests look forward to the anticipated cake-cutting ceremony. Contemporary weddings now provide twice the excitement with an additional groom’s cake.

Originating in 17th century England, groom’s cakes were cut and boxed at the wedding reception and sent home with unmarried women. Legend has it that the maidens placed the dessert under their pillow and dreamt of her future husband.

The custom was later picked up by the South and altered to reflect the man of honor’s hobbies, interests or profession. This old southern tradition is now making a modern comeback and growing in popularity across the country.

Diana Glidden, manager of Dutch Oven Bakery in Ames, said about one-third of her wedding cakes have an accompanying groom’s cake.

“These cakes are so fun. When people walk in and see something like this, it really starts conversation,” Glidden said.

While the groom may have a big influence on the “traditional” cake too, this cake is a gift from his new bride, and often reflects the groom’s career or favorite pastimes.

Known as the “Cy and Herky Lady,” Glidden has made numerous cakes for couples of the rivalry schools. Sports themes are very popular, and can range from a football helmet to baseball stadium. Other trends include fishing and hunting, farming and animals.

If you are serving this cake, remember a few tips:

• Make it personal: Whether you are a Mario game lover or avid outdoorsman, you can find a cake designer to make your hobby into an edible creation.

• Ask to see their work: Most bakeries keep photos of previous clients, so looking through other cakes show their experience and may give you ideas.

• Don’t forget about taste: Most often, the main cake is white or marble, to appeal to most guests. The groom’s cake is your opportunity to try a creative filling or flavor. The icing also impacts taste and presence. For instance, a sweet butter cream frosting creates texture, while popular fondant confections provide sleek decoration. Either way, you can have your cake and eat it, too!

• Serve it at the rehearsal dinner: The rehearsal dinner is a great chance to mingle with family, friends, and the wedding party before the big day. This is an appropriate time to serve the groom’s dessert because the event is often hosted by the man’s parents. The wedding reception is also a great opportunity, as party-goers can also enjoy the unique treat.

“Anything really goes when it comes to groom’s cakes! The wedding can be elegant, and the reception gets fun and funky,” Glidden said.